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      Frequently Asked Questions About Celiac Disease   09/30/2015

      This Celiac.com FAQ on celiac disease will guide you to all of the basic information you will need to know about the disease, its diagnosis, testing methods, a gluten-free diet, etc.   Subscribe to FREE Celiac.com email alerts What are the major symptoms of celiac disease? Celiac Disease Symptoms What testing is available for celiac disease? - list blood tests, endo with biopsy, genetic test and enterolab (not diagnostic) Celiac Disease Screening Interpretation of Celiac Disease Blood Test Results Can I be tested even though I am eating gluten free? How long must gluten be taken for the serological tests to be meaningful? The Gluten-Free Diet 101 - A Beginner's Guide to Going Gluten-Free Is celiac inherited? Should my children be tested? Ten Facts About Celiac Disease Genetic Testing Is there a link between celiac and other autoimmune diseases? Celiac Disease Research: Associated Diseases and Disorders Is there a list of gluten foods to avoid? Unsafe Gluten-Free Food List (Unsafe Ingredients) Is there a list of gluten free foods? Safe Gluten-Free Food List (Safe Ingredients) Gluten-Free Alcoholic Beverages Distilled Spirits (Grain Alcohols) and Vinegar: Are they Gluten-Free? Where does gluten hide? Additional Things to Beware of to Maintain a 100% Gluten-Free Diet Free recipes: Gluten-Free Recipes Where can I buy gluten-free stuff? Support this site by shopping at The Celiac.com Store.

Coughing Fits With Gluten Intolerance?
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13 posts in this topic

I have had an unexplained dry cough for about 2 years now. I cough all the time and have fits with gagging pretty often. I often feel slight nausea as well. I don't smoke, but sound like I do.

I've gone through so many tests and have no answers. I've been tested for allergies, post nasal drip, reflux, lactose intolerance, had chest x-rays, cat scans, upper GI, etc. The only thing I found out is that I'm anemic and have low B12.

A friend of mine has Celiac's and said her only symptom was a cough like mine. (She had the biopsy done and found out that way) She recommended trying a gluten-free diet to see if it helped the cough. I've been gluten-free for 3 weeks now and my cough is so much better. The only time it has gotten bad is if I accidently eat something with gluten in it.

I am pretty sure that the gluten is affecting the cough if not causing it, but I don't really see a cough listed as a symptom of Celiac or gluten intolerance, so I'm having a hard time believing that this is it.

I'm fed up with doctors and have no desire to go through another expensive round of testing (I pay out of pocket for everything).

I guess my question is, is a cough with gluten intolerance something that happens to other people? Has anyone else experienced this?

Thanks from a newbie!

Gayle

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I'm not sure about a cough being one of the symptoms, but reflux can be, and there is an association. You may also have a gluten allergy. But, if you feel better eating gluten free, great!

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I had the cough, too. Reflux, even if you don't have heartburn, can cause spasms in your esophagus, which in turn cause you to cough.

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I know of a Celiac with Barret's Esophagus and two young girl's with Celiac and Eosinophilic Esophagitis. (This would be in a 10 mile radius, rural area)

I'm am starting to believe different disorders of the Esophagus and other areas of the digestive tract are related to Celiac. As so many are believed to have have Celiac undiagnosed, we can only wait to find out how many other conditions are related to Celiac.

Important to mention gluten can be a trigger for EE.

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There are soooooooooo many different symptoms for celiac disease. In fact, when I was trying to figure out what was wrong with me, I came across celiac disease, but since the symptoms weren't really quite like mine, I dismissed it. (I am a celiac, however.)

Coughing is often a result of having acid reflux too. Acid reflux could be as a result of celiac disease...I am proof positive of that, although that wasn't my only symptom. Even if they scope you and say they see no reflux, something is doing something in your throat (mine actually burned...it's a different type of reflux that affects the larynx and is called LRD, I think).

In order to be tested positive for the disease, however, you have to be on a gluten diet. So your choice is to either go back on gluten diet and get a biopsy (not just from one location) of your duodenum or just go gluten-free...and stay that way.

Hope that helps.

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Foxfire is correct. If you are going for a diagnoses you need to be ingesting gluten.

Make sure even "normal" looking tissue is biopsied.

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I have had an unexplained dry cough for about 2 years now. I cough all the time and have fits with gagging pretty often. I often feel slight nausea as well. I don't smoke, but sound like I do.

I've gone through so many tests and have no answers. I've been tested for allergies, post nasal drip, reflux, lactose intolerance, had chest x-rays, cat scans, upper GI, etc. The only thing I found out is that I'm anemic and have low B12.

A friend of mine has Celiac's and said her only symptom was a cough like mine. (She had the biopsy done and found out that way) She recommended trying a gluten-free diet to see if it helped the cough. I've been gluten-free for 3 weeks now and my cough is so much better. The only time it has gotten bad is if I accidently eat something with gluten in it.

I am pretty sure that the gluten is affecting the cough if not causing it, but I don't really see a cough listed as a symptom of Celiac or gluten intolerance, so I'm having a hard time believing that this is it.

I'm fed up with doctors and have no desire to go through another expensive round of testing (I pay out of pocket for everything).

I guess my question is, is a cough with gluten intolerance something that happens to other people? Has anyone else experienced this?

Thanks from a newbie!

Gayle

Hi Gayle

When I read your letter I was intrigued as I also have an unexplained cough which I've had for about 4 years probably. I used to cough when I spoke at length however it now happens more often when I am eating or just after, it also occurs when I am rushing around. I too have had chest x-rays and my chest is clear, I've been given an inhaler to try but with no lasting effect. Lately I have been having some other symptoms and went to the doctor who carried out some blood tests, the result being that I am positive for Anti-Reticulin AB. This is an antibody found in people who have celiac but also it has a connection with Lupus and Systemic Sclerosis. As I have other symptoms as well these being chronic diarrhoea, joint pain, and extreme fatigue I am being referred to a rheumatologist.

As you say not a lot of people have a cough as a symptom and I was very worried that I might be suffering from Lupus or Systemic Sclerosis both of which seem a far worse condition than celiac although that is bad enough.

I shall continue watching these posts as so far I've made more sense from these discussions than from my GP. I may try leaving gluten out of my diet and see if that helps the cough. I think I do have celiac disease its just getting a correct diagnosis. Keep watching this space and we can compare notes. If there is anything else you want to know ...just ask. Good luck. Linda

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Thanks for these helpful responses.

My doctor thought reflux, but I had a ph probe done (twice) with no reflux showing. I'll have to investigate Larynx reflux.

I was also tested for asthma with a negative result. The pulmonologist put me on a few different inhalers, but with no luck.

This is just so strange!

Thanks again!

Gayle

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My grandaughter was just told she has Celiac Disease. She went through the same tests and the only thing she did was always coughing! She is 11. I feel so bad for the school. She coughs all the time but she watches what she eats. We spend an awful lot on special foods, have bought books and are cooking and trying not to contaminate! The cough- what helps the cough! Everyone thinks she is going to give them something! Help a Gma if you can! Grandma

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Hi Grandma,

Be sure to check the date on the topics before you post. Most people will start a fresh topic if they can't find an answer in the search or old posts.

But don't let that discourage you from posting on here! You are obviously going to be your grand daughters biggest advocate!! What a lucky girl she is to have you for support and guidance.

I am not diagnosed with Celiac but I have DH (dermatitis herpetiformis) that is about 90% cleared from going gluten free (no meds). I had years of debilitating hayfever (all the usual symptoms etc). When I went to the doctor one spring many years ago with sinus drip and constant coughing I was told I had asthma. I didn't have the traditional wheezing, breathing problems that I understood asthma to be at the time. Asthma treatment has been my saviour many a time when I thought I would not have a chance to breath between the coughing.

In the past 2-3 years it seemed I had hayfever and sinus infection all year round.

I believe my sinus inflamation and drip has been a big contributor to the cough and constant sinus infections I had. I wonder if your grand daughter wakes up congested? This is the worst time for me.. have to have a hot shower to get the stuff out. But the cough always seemed dry which baffled me.

Anyway.. I'm not sure I can be much help but thought that you might like to hear that since being mostly gluten-free for six months and strictly for 2-3 months my hayfever, sinus drip and coughing have eased considerably - and now well into our Australian spring. Hope that gives you a little hope and incentive :)

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I have had a dry cough for years, even the 10 yrs I quit smoking (and I never smoked much.)  Finally a few years ago I was diagnosed with celiac disease by biopsy.  Am also extremely to avenin in oats.  Once I stopped eating oats and gluten for several months, the cough ceased.  So did the constant stomach pain, reflux, diarrhea, multiple skin disorders and pruritis.   Recently, my mother died.  In the course of dealing with stress and grief I began eating gluten and oats occasionally, because they are found in some of my favorite comfort foods.  One of the first things to return was this almost constant dry cough and tightness in the throat.  Then itching, diarrhea, and everything else.  So I have sworn off the "bad stuff" again.

 

The cough is aggravated most when I try to sing.  I hate it.  It was not until today I realized the cough returned with the gluten use, and here I am online seeing if others have the same problem.  It appears to be so.

 

Years ago, my primary care doc finally told me it was mild asthma but she never tested me for that or suggested an inhaler.  She said the anemia (celiac, of course) was much more of a serious concern to her.

 

I'm so glad to figure this out.  Sometimes it feels there is a heavy weight on my chest and a band constricting my throat.  It's not a heart attack (I've been to the hospital during the worst of it and had that checked.)  I've had a CT scan of the chest along with two MRI's.  They said there was nothing wrong with my lungs.  Now I know.  It was oats and gluten.

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Donna, I'm on round 2 of going gluten-free. Round one told me I am gluten sensitive per the diagnosis, but when I went back on gluten (gluten challenge recommended by my GI) it took a long time to see symptoms again. But here I am again with identical symptoms, which for me is confirmation that the diagnosis was right and I'm not as urgently sensitive to it as I had first believed.

 

Anyway, the cough. I have an incessant, clearing-the-throat, cough that I'm confident is caused by post nasal drip from sinus issues caused by gluten. Both times going gluten-free ended the sinus drainage, cough, and subsequent snoring from lack of ability to breathe through my nose. I'm now about a week into being gluten-free again and my sinuses today are now clear. I have  yet to clear my throat today and my breathing is normal and clear. After doing this twice, I'm confident gluten is the cause of my sinus issues, along with many other symptoms.

 

The cough was so bad I would always clear my throat before talking or singing, and often would have to stop while talking or singing just to clear my throat. I sniffed as much as I coughed, and always had people asking if I had a cold. It was embarrassing, especially in a quiet place like a church. I'm happy to be sniff and cough free again and you aren't crazy, nor alone, with the symptom.

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Hi, my name is Barb and I have had a cough for years now, I do have asthma and reflux. This cough first started in 2006 with only milk products so I took everything out of my diet and it calmed down but recently it started up again and now it is with anything I eat, with diarrhea, and conspiration. I am convised it is a gluten that is causing the problem and everything was ruled out, how and where can I find out because this cough is starting to take over and pretty much taking my life, I have already had allergy testing and my asthma isn't allergy realated so that leaves gluten, so is there any testing that I can go through to find out, please I really need te help and thanks.

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